ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says a pilot's decision to fly using visual flight rules when conditions called for instrument rules was a cause of a fatal crash of a sightseeing flight in Alaska.
The board says the airplane company's culture and lack of a formal safety program also were behind the crash that killed nine people two years ago near Ketchikan, Alaska.
A pilot and eight passengers died June 25, 2015, when a de Havilland Otter operated by Promech Air Inc. crashed into mountainous terrain.
The pilot had less than two months of experience flying air tours in southeast Alaska.
The NTSB says the pilot's decisions were influenced by schedule pressure, his attempt to emulate more experienced pilots and Promech's culture, which tacitly endorsed flying in hazardous weather.
Promech Air was sold last year to another Ketchikan company, which didn't have an immediate response to the report.